Special Report

Brotherhood Rekindled: The Historic Visit of the Ovie of Uvwie to the Pere of Gbaramatu

Brotherhood Rekindled: The Historic Visit of the Ovie of Uvwie to the Pere of Gbaramatu

On the 23rd of October 2023, a momentous and historic event unfolded, signifying a remarkable occasion dedicated to fostering unity and commemorating the strong bonds of brotherhood between the two tribes. It was a day that witnessed the distinguished presence of His Royal Majesty, Dr. Emmanuel Ekemejewa Sideso Abe I, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom and Chairman of the Association of Urhobo Traditional Rulers, also known as Ukoko R’ Ivie Urhobo. His majesty embarked on a momentous journey to pay a courtesy visit to the revered Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadagba, in the heart of Oporoza community, which serves as the Traditional headquarters of the great Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta state.

This encounter was not merely a visit; it was a reflection of the deep-rooted and historical ties between the Effurun in present-day Uvwie kingdom of Urhobo Nation and Gbaramatu people. These two tribes, Effurun and Gbaramatu, have long-standing fraternal bonds that have transcended generations. The visit emphasized the cultural and historical connections that have intertwined their destinies for centuries.

The Ovie of Uvwie with Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdoms

It was a day marked by significance, highlighting the intricate and vibrant tapestry of cultural heritage shared by these two Kingdoms. The event embodied the spirit of unity and brotherhood that has historically bound Uvwie and Gbaramatu, demonstrating the enduring strength of their relationship.

The Royal Reception:

The Ovie of Uvwie was accorded a magnificent and truly royal welcome upon his arrival at the palace of the Pere of the Great Gbaramatu Kingdom. The welcoming festivities were nothing short of a grand carnival. Traditional dancers swayed to joyous melodies, and jubilant music filled the air. The atmosphere was alive with the spirit of tradition and unity, as the hosts embraced their distinguished guest with the time-honored offering of kola nuts, money, and drinks. The symbolism of this warm reception was undeniable, underlining the profound connections that unite these two ancient kingdoms.

United in Tradition: Ijaw and Urhobo Traditional Rulers come together for a historic group photograph

Royal Communion:

In his welcome address, His Royal Majesty Oboro-Gbaraun II expressed heartfelt appreciation for the visit of the Ovie of Uvwie and the delegations from various Urhobo kingdoms. He described the occasion as “an August visit,” emphasizing the historical relationships between the Gbaramatu kingdom, Uvwie kingdom, and other neighboring domains. His words resonated with the attendees:

“Today we are very happy to see our brothers; we are elated. Today can be described as an August visit. Uvwie is our brother. Not only Uvwie, we talk of Patani, Kabowei, and even Arogbo, they are all brothers to Gbaramatu Kingdom. They lived here, left this place to found their present kingdoms, and more.”

His Royal Majesty, Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadagba, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

His Royal Majesty Oboro-Gbaraun II also took a moment to congratulate the Ovie of Uvwie on his recent appointment as the Chairman of the Urhobo Traditional Rulers Forum. The celebration of unity and shared identity was a central theme in his address.

The Unity of Ijaw and Urhobo:

The event proceeded to a colorful reception ground where the rich cultural heritage of the Ijaw people was on full display. Attendees were treated to enthralling performances of the Ijaw traditional Agene dance by exuberant youths. A sumptuous spread of traditional foods, encompassing both local and International cuisines, was offered, including the beloved Jollof rice.

Prominent Ijaw traditional rulers, including the Pere of Kabowei Kingdom, His Royal Majesty (Barr.) Peremobowei S. Erebulu, Aduo III, joined the assembly and celebrated the unity between their communities. Their speeches emphasized the importance of maintaining strong bonds among the Ijaw people and beyond.

High Chief Dr Wellington Okirika, CON, the Bolowei of the Great Gbaramatu Kingdom, delivered a speech that delved into the history of Ijaw kings who once journeyed to the region from Gbaraun, Kabowei, Arogbo, and other distant places. These gatherings in the past were known for their festivities and cultural exchange. High Chief Okirika expressed the hope of reviving such celebrations to strengthen the shared cultural tapestry of the region.

The Expression of Gratitude:

The Ovie of Uvwie, in his remarks, expressed profound gratitude for the reception and celebration given to him by the Gbaramatu community. He acknowledged the vital role of unity and peace in fostering development and emphasized that peace is essential for growth.

The Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom

He reassured the audience that this historic visit was the beginning of a renewed era of cooperation between their communities. His Royal Majesty also expressed his desire to share the experience with the Urhobo nation and build on the longstanding relationship between the Ijaw of Gbaramatu and the Urhobo of Uvwie.

In closing, he clarified that the unity between Uvwie and Gbaramatu has deep historical roots and will remain unbroken. The unity, respect, and cultural pride displayed during the event demonstrated the enduring brotherhood and shared heritage among the people of the Niger Delta.

The Fieyewei of Gbaramatu Kingdom, High Chief Godspower Gbenekama, and Chief Julius Tonfawei engage in a meaningful discussion with the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

The Distinguished Guests:

His Royal Majesty, the Ovie of Uvwie, was accompanied by a distinguished entourage of Urhobo kings, high chiefs, and palace officials. Notable among them were HRM King Obukohwo Whiskey Jp the Ovie of Great Idjerhe Kingdom and Spokesperson of Urhobo Traditional Ruler’s Forum, HRM Solomon Okunkeren, the Ovie of Arhawarien Kingdom and Vice Chairman of Urhobo Traditional Ruler’s Forum, HRM Richard Oghenevwogaga Ebelle Jp the Ovie of Agbarha Otor Kingdom and Secretary of along with other eminent figures.

Traditional dancers perform in honor of the distinguished guests.

Ijaw Traditional Rulers and Esteemed Figures:

Ijaw traditional rulers who added to the grandeur of the occasion included the Pere of Kabowei Kingdom, His Royal Majesty (Barr.) Peremobowei S. Erebulu, Aduo III; His Royal Majesty, Pere Gbebokedi Ajiri-Oba, the Oguruyeke, Okirimini 1; Pere of Tubutoru Kingdom in Ondo State, HRM Godwin Ogunoyibo, Alagbabunafa III; Pere of Olodiama Kingdom in Edo State, as well as the Pere of Gbarain Kingdom in Bayelsa State. Their presence symbolized the strong bonds of unity shared among the Ijaw communities.

High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo

In addition to the distinguished traditional rulers, esteemed figures like High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, who holds the title of Ijawebidouwei of the Ijaw Nation, High Chief Godspower Gbenekama, the Fieyewei of Gbaramatu Kingdom and High Chief Dr. Wellington Okirika, CON, the Bolowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom, participated actively in the event.

High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo with High Chief Wellington Okirika, the Bolowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

In Conclusion:

The historic visit of the Ovie of Uvwie to the Pere of Gbaramatu kingdoms served as a shining example of the enduring bonds that unite the Ijaw and Urhobo people. It highlighted the region’s cultural richness and demonstrated the commitment to fostering unity and brotherhood. This landmark event was a celebration of shared heritage and the promise of a harmonious future, underscoring the importance of solidarity and peace as the foundation for progress.

As the festivities concluded, it was evident that the spirit of unity, brotherhood, and cultural pride in the Niger Delta was more vibrant than ever. This historic visit will undoubtedly be remembered as a significant step in further strengthening the ties between these neighboring kingdoms.

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